Saturday, April 10, 2010

Get on the Chuck Wagon

I just became addicted to Chuck this year and by addicted I mean super obsessed. This show literally dimmed other shows to me, making favorite shows seem sub-par. Of course as an online film and TV critic I know about the shaky start Chuck has had with ratings. I don't understand the lack of ratings but okay I get it.

This season Chuck is fighting for his life yet again and I can't let him die being the fan that I am and the short amount of time I have had with team Bartowski. Besides, Chuck's career as a spy is just beginning. As the owner of I have to try to help. My first plan of attack is @CHUCK_Wagon on Twitter. Each follower will act as a signature for a petition. Before decisions are made I will send my followers list to NBC, provided I'm not sending only twenty names to the big wigs in H-town, we need hundreds and/or thousands. I have yet to devise part two. I have posted an article in the TV section at asking how we can save Chuck. If you as a reader have an idea, by all means write it in the comments on that article page.

NBC wants to see that large crowds are watching Chuck. I don't know anyone that has started at season one on DVD or watched live from the beginning who is not in love with this show. Your TIVO recordings don't count to the network though. Even though you may watch religiously, the advertisers are not being satisfied that you are being fully exposed to their products. We may have to get in touch with the sponsors and let them know how many people are actually seeing their ads. I am grasping at straws, but in the end we will succeed. If you haven't already voted at for Chuck go to and click the "Save One Show" link in "Watch With Kristen" and vote. Also write #SOSCHUCK in your Tweets. There are also some Chuck support shirts at, but the main concern is voting at eonline and following the @CHUCK_Wagon.

My next blog will be on another topic, but we must overcome...


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Save Chuck A Seamingly Impossible Task

Is it possible to save Chuck on NBC? I mean really save it. Every season of this incredible show gets better and better and of course every season, fans are faced with the possible threat of cancellation. Last season it actually happened but the fans (with the help of Subway) pulled together and breathed life (with ham on white) back into the helpless victim of the show eating peacock. Why does NBC throw away such good entertainment? For example they sent Scrubs to it's near death by moving it from time slot to time slot until no one knew if, or when the show would be on at all. ABC tried to revive Scrubs but by then, I believe the damage was done. Now Scrubs is nothing more (to me) than a bad attempt to continue on without it's star on a new network. On top of that, I don't have to remind you what happened to a certain red headed late-night step-child when he made a deal with the peacock do I?

How many great shows have started slow and ended up hits? It seems a little NBC show called Seinfeld did that many years ago. How can you take the work of so many talented people and flush it when it has such a devoted fan base? Mind you, I understand an awful show being canceled, but really can Chuck be considered an awful show? No way.

The fact of the matter is, ad money gives the thumbs up or down to shows. It doesn't matter that the show has a great cast and an incredible story. What matters is that you buy crap that you see on TV. If official ratings are low that means sponsors may not be selling their crap. Not only that but according to Chuck himself, Zachary Levi speaking at Wondercon on Sunday, the network and sponsors really only pay attention to live ratings. DVR recordings are considered non-advertising viewings because of the fast forward button and even on there is only one real ad per break.

Keeping this fact in mind, how do the fans win? What is a big enough fan base? Should live-only data of a limited Nielsen network decide the fate of good shows (and actor's/crew jobs)? What about my rabbit ears? What is the alternative? For "Chuck" fans, writers in essence wrote a series finale and then the show was extended by six episodes according to the creators of the show. Extended by six episodes yet the show is still in jeopardy? The sad part about "Chuck" is that sometimes when the love story is satisfied, that is the kiss of death for shows. If you haven't seen yet, in the latest episode Chuck and Sarah finally get together near the Eiffel Tower, satisfying two of Chuck's life goals. What now? Do we get to watch the relationship roller coaster around until the show finally does end? If I may interject to the writers as a huge fan, just let Sarah and Chuck be together as they were in season one, happy without complications. We like it like it when Chuck is happy, we don't need Sarah being mean to our hero while kissing another man. Back to the point, is it right that fear of cancellation determines the creativity of the writers? There is a sure way to make a show bomb, right.

I have a couple of solutions. First, what about viewer supported shows with minimal sponsors? Why do companies have to be the sole sponsors in this instant payment age of Paypal and Ebay? Second, product placement instead of commercials. I would be happy to watch Chuck eat a Subway sandwich working on a Mac laptop listening to his ipod and drinking a Coke in Morgan's Prius that won't stop if that meant no commercials. The network could keep a central break for the feminine hygiene products and insurance companies. No sponsor, no show, right? My fear is that NBC is canceling shows as a preemptive strike without sponsor input. Of course that is as I said a fear and not necessarily fact.

This is a new age NBC (and all networks for that matter), let's try to think outside the box a little. After all, you need your consumers happy just as much as you need your sponsors happy. After O'Brien VS Leno, you really should work on that image before no one wants to play with you...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Future of Video and Heading to Wondercon

I saw today that Netflix won't have Sherlock Holmes available for another month (4/27). In the meantime the movie is out for sale (3/30 released). What does this say about the future of movie rentals? My local Hollywood video is closing as is one of our local Blockbusters. This means less locations for rental and no Netflix yet for this movie. Is this going to set a standard for new releases or is this an error or just an ill conceived gimmick by WB.
I have to say that if this is the new plan to make quicker money from sales on Blu-Ray and DVD, I don't like it. I don't always want to buy a movie that I haven't seen (I did see this one already in theaters, see my review at plug), sometimes I want to rent first. Don't force me to buy a movie or wait a month movie studios, this is not cool. If this becomes common practice I will have to become some sort of video activist that doesn't wear underwear and boycott my local movie retailer. I hate that stuff. Please don't do this movie studios. Do they have to suck every dollar the general public has in the name of entertainment?
Heading to Wondercon
Tomorrow morning I will pack up my cameras and recording devices as well as a few comics from my "Spirit Knight" days and head down to Wondercon in San Francisco. Every year me, my son Michael and Bryan from Reelfans have a table for our "Spirit Knight" comic mini series. This year we are promoting as well. We will be offering the chance to win a Sony PSP just for signing up on reelfans, of course there will be a drawing. We also want the general public to help come up with a commercial for the new release of the website. Our plan is to reward the winner with a press screening of Iron Man 2. I am looking forward to a fun weekend filled with costumed characters and 1980's celebrities. Just a few more hours to wait.